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Bible reflection: ‘You are God’s building’

Staff  |  07 November 2019

In this week’s Bible reflection we consider the Gospel where Jesus said that if the Temple was destroyed in three days he would raise it up.

Gospel reading for Saturday, 9 November 2019
John 2:13-22
‘Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up’

Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there. Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market.’ Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me. The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’ Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.


1. Why was Jesus so angry when he went to the Temple?

2. Are there places where you think commercialisation should not intrude? Why?

3. Jesus compared his body to the Temple. How does thinking about our bodies as sacred sites change the way we see ourselves and how we might treat our bodies? 


Reflection from

The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12. Ps 45(46):2-3, 5-6, 8-9. 1 Corinthians 3: 9-11, 16-17. John 2:13-22
The waters of the river gladden the city of God – Psalm 45(46):2-3, 5-6, 8-9
‘You are God’s field, God’s building’

The Lateran Basilica (324AD) is the ‘home church’ of the Bishop of Rome. It remains the Mother Church of all Catholics, a symbol of the one faith we receive in baptism, and the readings of today are full of the imagery of water, streams and rivers, cleansing, renewing and life-giving.

The dramatic scene Jesus makes, cleansing the Temple of Jerusalem, richly repays imaginative contemplation. In your mind’s eye, picture the scene. Where is Jesus? Who else is there? What is Jesus doing? Then what happens? Where are you in the picture? Imagine yourself asking Jesus ‘Why are you doing this?’ Consider with him what arises in your heart.

The new Temple Jesus builds is not made of stone, but instead through the sacraments, our spirits, our bodies and minds become God’s home. Each of us is holy, cleansed and enriched by the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts. We belong to God.


Image: The Basilica of St. John Lateran (Italian: Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano) is the cathedral of the Church of Rome, Italy, and the official ecclesiastical seat of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. Getty Images


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